It’s no secret that I made hand-spun pizzas in my youth. I worked at Pirro’s for six years, one month, twelve days, and an hour. I started off in high school as a delivery boy, became the dishwasher, prep cook, cook, and, finally, manager of the place. When I went into the Navy and was going to Culinary A school, Barry flew me up to San Francisco from San Diego on weekends to work. PSA SFO to SAN – $24.50. Every hour on the half-hour. When I was stationed at Hunters Point and later Alameda, I worked for him whenever I was off. When I got back from Viet Nam, I was working, immediately. I was gainfully employed the day I was separated from Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club.

I made a lot of pizzas. Pirro’s back in the day, was one of the best pizzerias in San Francisco.

Fast-forward almost 50 years, and I can still make a damned good pizza!


Tonight’s pizza came about because Victor had seen a photo of a pizza with an egg on it. There are few culinary things in life that cannot be enhanced with an egg… we decided to give it a try.

The pizza dough is my most favorite 2-day dough. It really is just like the dough we made back at Pirro’s, lo, these many years ago. It’s perfect for spinning, tossing, and it just bakes up perfectly every time.

Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (100º to 105º)
  • 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 4 cups “00” flour or unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • olive oil for bowl

Sprinkle yeast over warm water in bowl of mixer fitted with dough hook. Let proof about 5 minutes.

Mix together flour and salt. Add to yeast mixture. Mix on low speed about 4 minutes or until dough forms a coarse ball. Stop mixer and cover bowl with a towel. Let dough rest about 5 minutes, then remove towel and continue mixing another 2 minutes or so.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Form dough into a ball, transfer to bowl and turn to lightly coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

Punch down dough, re-roll, and return to bowl. Tightly cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

Divide dough into 2 pieces; shape pieces into balls and place on a lightly floured work surface. Loosely cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise at warm room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours.

Pizza needs to be baked in a really hot oven, so I preheat to 500°F for at least an hour before putting the pie in the oven.

The sauce was a fresh tomato sauce made in the blender with tomatoes, a bit of onion, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper.

It was topped with fresh mozzarella, slices of salami, and fresh tomatoes – sprinkled with black pepper and pecorino romano. About halfway through the cooking, I added the egg.


I do have to admit that the egg was not earth-shattering or life-changing. It was really good, but, in the grand scheme of things, probably unnecessary. That first bite with the egg was excellent, but the rest of the slice was pretty damned good, on its own.

Would I do it, again?!? Probably. But it won’t become a signature dish, if you know what I mean…

The two of us cleaned that plate. What else can I say?!?

The pizza dough recipe makes two crusts…

I think I may make a stromboli or some such creature, tomorrow or the next day.

The dough only gets better as it sits…